The Abraham Cherrix case: Bad medicine makes bad law

Boy, oh, boy, I had to control myself on this one. Yes, dear reader, while I was away this last week and a half, many were the times that I wanted to let loose about this. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) lack of Internet access at some times and other vacation activities at other times interceded. Now that I'm back home (although not back to full blogging, as I'm still on vacation until Labor Day), it's time to weigh in.

As you know, I've written extensively (some might say too extensively) about the Abraham Cherrix case, the case of a 16 year old boy who won the right to choose the quackery known as the Hoxsey therapy under the supervision of a radiation oncologist who uses an unproven (and to me rather dubious) flavor of "immunotherapy" in Alabama, rather than undergoing the one treatment with a reasonable shot of eliminating the tumor and giving him a chance of long term survival, namely chemotherapy.

Here's the story:

How that 16-year-old Abraham Cherrix is free to pursue the medical treatment he prefers for his Hodgkin's disease, a local legislator wants to ensure that others don't go through the court ordeal that he faced.

Del. John Welch III, a Virginia Beach Republican, said he plans to introduce legislation Monday to strengthen patients' rights when seeking medical treatment and limit health providers' and government workers' intervention in that process.

Welch said the bill, which he plans to call "Abraham's law," will apply to minors facing "terminal illness." He didn't provide many details about his proposal but said the Division of Legislative Services, a General Assembly team of attorneys and researchers who assist in drafting legislation, is working on the bill now.

He said that if the General Assembly doesn't act on his bill during its current special session, he will introduce it again during the regular 2007 session.

Never mind that Abraham is not yet "terminally ill" and has a chance of survival if he were to agree to treatment for his relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma. This proposed law, had it existed a year ago, wouldn't have even applied to the young man for whom it's colloquially named! Even now, it still wouldn't apply to Abraham, who managed to win the right to follow his heart's content and let himself die with the quackery of known as the Hoxsey therapy almost to his heart's content. His only hope is if this new doctor's "immunotherapy" isn't as dubious as it looks on his website. Certainly the Hoxsey therapy isn't going to save him.

In reality, this is the agenda behind this law:

Welch said he has conferred with Abraham's attorneys and also with health care providers to craft a law to keep families from going through what the Cherrixes experienced.

"The government should be there to assist you, not to hinder you at your time of need," Welch said. "A parent's rights are first and foremost."

So innocuous sounding, isn't it? Who could argue with such a sentiment? After all, we all believe that parents are responsible for their children and should be able to decide how best to raise them. Here's the problem. Welch appears to be arguing for parental rights that are absolute, or, alternatively, watering down laws designed to protect children from medical neglect to the point that any form of treatment the parents choose, even the most obvious forms of quackery, is acceptable to the state. My retort to such a sentiment is that it is the child's right to receive proper medical care that is first and foremost. That's what must take precedence when parents screw up. The attitude that parental rights are absolute is a holdover from the days when children were viewed more or less as the property of the parents. Welch himself unwittingly pointed out the problem with such a law:

"No one should have any decision over that child but the parent again if there is no neglect no abuse, what makes us as a state be the ultimate parent," said Republican John Welch from District 21 in Virginia Beach.

Again, unless the state changes the definition of what constitutes "abuse" or "neglect" to remove protections that allow the state to intervene when children's health or lives are endangered by parents choosing quackery over evidence-based medicine, this law would be utterly meaningless and would have had no effect on the Cherrix case. In fact, even though this law has not yet been drafted yet, it begs more questions than it answers. For example:

She said there are cases in which children need protection from parents who make uninformed decisions that put their lives in danger. "You have to look at the age of the child and the competency of the child, as well as the parents. Are the child and the parents in sync? And what constitutes a terminal illness?"

Indeed, defining what constitutes a terminal illness is a huge problem. For example, even if we take the most pessimistic estimate of Abraham's chances of being cured with chemotherapy at 25%, I doubt many people would consider that a "terminal" illness because he still has a shot at being cured. If we take the more optimistic upper estimate of a 60% chance, then virtually no one would consider Abraham to be "terminally ill." In fact, Abraham himself doesn't consider himself to be terminally ill, as he has said on many occasions that he believes that the Hoxsey therapy can cure him! What about if a child has a 10% chance of survival? A 5% chance? Would those constitute "terminal illnesses"? For adults, we generally don't permit hospice placement unless the person is estimated to have less than six months to live and virtually no chance of long term survival. Would such a definition be used in this proposed new law? Finally, I have to ask: Why only "terminally ill" children? After all, if the fascistic state dictating to parents how their children should receive medical care is such a big problem, why confine such protections to terminally ill children, a relatively small number of cases? Oddly enough, I'm sort of in agreement with Spunky on this one. My perspective is that, by limiting his law to "terminally ill" children, Welch seems to be wanting it both ways and almost implicitly admitting that the path Abraham has chosen will lead to his death. I would also turn around Spunky's take on this iissue and ask: Why should terminally ill children be singled out to have their protections against medical abuse weakened in the name of absolute parental rights? Isn't that in essence "giving up" on them and consigning them to whatever quackery their parents might choose? Remember, not all quackery is benign; some of it can cause a fair amount of suffering in its own right.

As I've said before, the Cherrix case has caused me a bit of internal angst, because it pits the right to self-determination (which I value highly) versus my dislike of quackery and seeing a young man seduced by it, even making excuses for it when it clearly isn't stopping his tumors from growing. If Abraham had been 12 instead of 16, there would have been no such internal conflict, however, as my reticence at coming down reluctantly on the side of the state was influenced by the fact that Abraham is nearly an adult legally. In any case, the bottom line regarding Welch's ill-advised law is this: To make any real change in how the state deals with cases of medical neglect in terminally ill children, his proposed law would have to significantly water down the protections the state grants to minors when it comes to medical neglect, in essence defining any treatment, no matter how obviously quackery it is, as being acceptable. (In such cases, it is likely that only not providing any care at all would constitute neglect.) After all, if such obvious quackery as the Hoxsey therapy was ultimately deemed acceptable by the State of Virginia, I take that as pretty strong evidence that the present laws are fairly lax already and already give wide leeway to parental rights and wishes. The case of Katie Wernecke is another another example of just how much deference is already given to parental rights in the U.S. in such cases, even the right of the parents to refuse conventional therapy with a fairly high probability of cure in favor of dubious "alternative" medicine. Yes, Katie Wernecke's and Abraham Cherrix's parents had to go to court, but once in court in both cases the judge gave wide latitude to parental rights, even letting Katie go to another state for high dose vitamin C, a dubious therapy with no real evidence of efficacy in clinical trials. What advocates of Abraham's law appear to really want is to render it impossible for the state even to take parents to court in the case of suspected medical neglect, thus neutering the already relatively weak protections that are in place in some states, couching it in terms of "parental rights." In reality, they believe, as Spunky apparently does, that parental rights are near absolute and that the state should have essentially no right at all to intervene in the case of suspected medical neglect.

In fact, I can't resist pointing out that, if the proposed "Abraham's Law" doesn't significantly change the definition of what constitutes abuse or medical neglect, then it will have no effect at all in such cases! It will be nothing more than a political, feel-good, meaningless response to the Cherrix case designed to garner Welch some votes from the misguided "libertarians" who seem to view the State of Virginia's attempts to save Abraham from himself and his parents as somehow "fascistic." In practice, in such a case, it wouldn't make a dime's worth of difference in how the state actually handles such cases. It would be nothing more than political opportunism at its most crass.

Come to think of it, that would probably be the "least bad" outcome if this misbegotten law is ever passed. After all, an "Abraham's Law" with teeth would essentially eliminate any defense children in Virginia have against quackery if they are unfortunate enough to have been born to parents lacking critical thinking skills.


More like this

What's most odd about the proposal is that in most cases where a patient is credibly diagnosed as "terminally ill" there's usually lots of leeway given with regard to medical treatment. Normal medical practice covers most cases pretty well: this is a dramatic revision of the concept of "terminal."

That law sounds UOA - or unconstitutional on arrival. But if you want to beat it before it gets signed into law just start calling it the "Starchild's Law".

I like how they chose his respectable Judeo-Christian name rather than his much more frightening hippy name. Must be because "Starchild's law" sounds like some bad show on CBS rather than some new law allowing parental dominance over their child's healthcare.

Bad law indeed... this shows why not to start interfering in such things. This really is evolution in action -- "parental care", including early education, is an obvious selection factor. That doesn't make Abraham's fate good, but it shows why it's tough to stop that sort of thing by means of law.

By David Harmon (not verified) on 31 Aug 2006 #permalink

My major reason for being conflicted about the whole Cherrix thing (and ultimately coming down on the side of the minor) was that he was at an age where it could be reasonably construed that he knew what he was getting into. Making a bad choice? Absolutely. But I think the state needed to show that as a 15 or 16-year-old Cherrix was incapable of making that choice on his own.

The law being proposed, however, has dangerous potential. It's one thing for the courts to acquiesce to the desires of a near-adult in choosing his own treatment for cancer. It's another to give wide latitude for parents to make their own critical care decisions for their children. The state has to have the ability to step in when caretakers are obviously uninformed AND the child does not have the capacity to make a reasonable decision on their own.

I have no objection with rare instances like these being adjudicated in court and judgements being made on a case-by-case basis. The court system will not suffer adversely for the few times this will happen, and it's far better than a broad, sweeping law that could have far more deleterious consequences.

By anonimouse (not verified) on 31 Aug 2006 #permalink

... start calling it the "Starchild's Law"

Then Orrin Hatch would immediately start supporting it ... if he hasn't already.

So what the hell is "Bulletin of Urgent and Recovery Medicine"? Smith sounds respectable until one looks at his his publications. Nothing peer reviewed as far as I can tell. His qualifications, AOA and boards look good. What happened to him?

The sad thing is that this doesn't even come close to being the dumbest thing to come out of the Virginia legislature, they've been known to propose some truly hideous laws.

One of the key issues in the Cherrix case, however, is whether Abraham is making an informed, competent decision. Is he capable of making this choice, regardless of how we view his decision?

I would say no. The key issue for me is that he believes that the Hoxsey treatment will cure him. If this were a situation where he was refusing chemotherapy while fully understanding the potential (and highly likely) consequences, then I would have to reluctantly support him. In such a situation, he would be exercising informed self-determination, and his right to make decisions regarding his life belongs to him. However, his statements regarding his expectations of the efficacy of the Hoxsey treatment, and his statements regarding his understanding of what will happen if it fails, leads me to believe that he is not making an informed, competent decision.

There is another potential unintended consequence of this law that amuses me: Imagine a minor arrested for marijuana possession. Imagine now that once in court, his parents claim that it was medicinal, and that the state has no right to interfere with their decisions regarding their child's medical care. Under this law, they might actually get away with it. Oh, I imagine a judge would find some reason to rule in favor of the state eventually, but it would create one hell of a legal headache.

The CHILD (ie under 18) not young man , young adult is going to die as a result of this quackery and the state cannot sit idly by . The thing that most frustrates me about practising in North America is that we reverentially worship at the altar of EBM , but when an advocacy group intervenes - insert " " Rights Group/Commission we are suddenly forced to become apostates and cower before the self righteous crusaders of CAM and the media. If one more parent comes into my office and makes me persuade them to vaccinate their child , I think I will go back to Africa - f&8k it , being shot at was more fun than watching First World people kill themselves due to stupidity.This truly is death by idiocy.

By familydoc (not verified) on 31 Aug 2006 #permalink

I suspect that in that case Hyperion the judge would rule it legal, and then turn the minor over to the FBI as marijuana use is illegal under federal law. I love how in your country something can be both legal and illegal at the same time; I'm just waiting for someone to propose making marijuana use compulsory under some circumstances just so it can be both mandatory and prohibited :)

Hey James!!!
"in your country"
In this country oxygen is a drug that requires a doctor's Rx to aquire. I treat my son in a hyperbaric chamber with the permission of a doctor that states my son's amazing "change" is a miracle. (i did not say cure so calm down hyperdodo) Doc is not convinced the HBOT has anything to do with it but won't stand in the way of miraculous progress. i don't know what flag you fly but i'm sure ours will carry an AMA logo on it some day when all these "evidence based facist" get their way.
Once again i want to beg the question, whose evidence?
....cook the books and get the results you want...
i'm not "evidence based facist" need to clean house before you try to make law. If you insist i am wrong than explain all the bad meds please?
Why don't you just admit it.... you all are in it for the's ok
I can hear the dodos.....(from the video Iceage)
doom on you!!!
doom on you!!!
If you are not prepared for the end of your world with evidence based medicine then doom on you!!!
love phil

Yeah , sure, its all a big conspiracy by big pharma to rule the world and all doctors drive Bentleys and live in Malibu and scientific evidence is controlled by the Illuminati who front for the Priory of Sion underwritten by the Freemasons and controlled by the Joooos and the proof for this is the fact that we don't treat eveything from anal fissures to zygomatic arch fractures with hyperbaric O2. My grandmother had a remedy for this kind of talk - natural and drug free:
"Rather let people think that you are an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt"

By familydoc (not verified) on 01 Sep 2006 #permalink

hey familydoc
you got your mouth open too.
throw a rock into a pack of dogs and the one that barks is the one you hit.
when you are ready to go back to africa with a promise of no return let me be the first to help finance the trip.
when ya gonna start your pac to force even kids with established allergies to the shots, to take them anyway for the good of all. Your aren't just a facist you are a true nazi!!!!! you're not kicking high enough though.
doom on you! doom on you!! doom on you!!!!
Hey doc-o-rac can you add sound to the site.
a little background chant of the dodos.....
doom on you!!!
love phil

Ah - a racist as well , I guess all of us darkies should listen to the massa and go back to mama Africa and leave the US alone, huh?
PS the fascists and the nazis were white people , genius.

By familydoc (not verified) on 02 Sep 2006 #permalink

Let me explain it to you in small words doc...
The people in your practice that are questioning the shots care about their kids. you should be helping them if you can?
Prescribe yourself a suppository, genius
I guess the nazis are now integrated..

What I'd love to see is a law authorizing the state to step in when lay parents practice medicine - poorly - on their kids. Deciding they don't need vaccines but do need high-dose vitamin supplements and colon cleansers seems to me something almost like Munchausen's-by-proxy. These folks get off on the control they have over their kids' medical treatment, and it's more than a little sickening to witness - not to mention sometimes literally sickening for the kids.

By Baxterstate (not verified) on 02 Sep 2006 #permalink

Phil - some advice - the worst way to insult Africans is to call them dogs - I advise against this also with Muslims , Asians and Latin Americans and surprise , many of us actually live in the US , are citizens and we can even read and write , so we are home .Telling people to go back to Africa is really an intellectually inspired comment and speaks volumes about those who call us "nazis". I have committed the error of feeding the trolls which was stupid ( I probably need a Valium suppository ,so thanks) and as a rule I try not to communicate with bigots, so here goes my final attempt at reason - vaccinations prevent deadly childhood diseases and not vaccinating your kids constitutes child abuse and the height of hypocrisy - most people who don't vaccinate are themselves immune - they got the vaccinations as kids.
Unvaccinated children lower herd immunity and pose a public health risk to other children whose parents are responsible and sensible - I try not to allow unvaccinated children into my practice as there are people with immune deficiencies ie HIV , cancer chemotherapy in my waiting room who could die if they contract pertussis , measles or some other "minor" childhood disease - I am sorry if this offends people's delicate sensibilities , but I care more about treating their life threatening illnesses than the altie's prejudices - they need another waiting room entirely - the mental health professional's office.
The problem with their attitude is the one demonstrated often in this blog - it is not alternative medicine , but alternative religion with an antagonistic form of evangelism :
'we know the myth of the sacred health covenant and the evil AMA are hiding it from us '
Deny them and you are a "nazi" or a "fascist" because this kind of language is the only retort open to them as their beliefs don't give them options but base insult and incoherent hyperbole - accepted mainstream science rejects them and their false prophets.

By familydoc (not verified) on 02 Sep 2006 #permalink

To build on the sentiments of Baxterstate, I would argue further that parents who withhold vaccinations from their children are more than just a danger to their own child, but a danger to public health in general.

Written by a chairman emeritus of pediatrics at a major US medical center, someone old enough to recall how lethal childhood diseases were before vaccination campaigns, I excerpt from this article:

Nonetheless, many parents are misled by alleged authorities who disseminate scientifically unreliable information about vaccines, and decide based on this misinformation to decline immunization for their children. Such decisions can have grave consequences. In Ireland, where allegations that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism have persisted despite their disproof in repeated studies worldwide, the decrease in numbers of youngsters receiving the measles vaccine recently resulted in an outbreak of more than 2,000 cases. One hospital alone saw 355 children, admitted 111, and placed 13 in intensive care. Seven required intubation and mechanical ventilation, and three died. The outbreak shocked many parents, too young to recall the devastations wrought by the disease in the past, who believed measles was a relatively "benign" condition with less potential to do harm than the vaccine.
Similarly, the Boulder, Colorado area last year experienced an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) after a cluster of parents there chose to forgo pertussis immunization, believing that because the disease has been so reduced in numbers their children could avoid the required immunizations for school entry.

Excellent link , Abel - the only thing he doesn't mention though is that vaccine manufacturers be exempted from spurious lawsuits by the nutbars that claim MMR causes autism etc - these suits have been a big disincentive to vaccine development in the US and around the world.

By familydoc (not verified) on 03 Sep 2006 #permalink

family doc
your assumptions are too numerous to address.
my grandma always said "when you assume....."
Ok maybe just maybe I am a bigot. I think I do hate all docs until I get to know them.
You have made up a whole lot of stuff that I never said.
You said the U.S. was a place you would pick Africa over...
You said I am anti Shots...
You said a whole lot of stuff that you conjured up in your little cranium.
I said help your patients cope.
I will write it all down a little later when time is available.
I did call you a nazi and you thought i meant a member of the hitlers party......wrong i wish i said nazi-like
you think when i said pack of dogs i was calling you a dog
.....wrong i wish I had said docs.

Its really quite simple my point that is.....
It seems that anytime a host refuses to let you parasites
latch on(ie starchild for those of you unable to follow)
you docs start the name calling.
the host that don't comply are idiots and so forth(ie starchild for those of you unable to follow).
People who love their children and are worried about the shots are also idiots. Well you mind numb docs are in lock step about your EBM when too many mistakes are made in your industry. You cannot brush aside the question these parents have by calling them idiots when the jury is still out in so many peoples minds about the safety of the shots( ie the 1 in 6 children with behavioral maladies)
If you do you are a nazi-like person!!!!!!
I wish I had more time to address your concerns....
suffice it to say I believe you should run your practice in a manner that you alone decide.... its called freedom
But you, little minded doc buddy are a bigot. You hate people who question your elite education.
when you give up all your fredoms for safety you will have neither freedom nor safety....(ie no liberty. "libertarians unite and fight for liberty")
Now doc-o-rac lets hear what you have to say on this.
Are you a true libertarian or are you a doc first?
(ie for those of you who can't follow, should we take away the rights of parents to protect the herd or should we keep our individual freedoms)

You docs make a lot of assumption about what people are saying and are not paying attention to what they are saying.
Is this what you do in your office. If you can't communicate with people then maybe we electrical dudes should set up computers to take your place. They don't make assumption errors.

You cannot brush aside the question these parents have by calling them idiots when the jury is still out in so many peoples minds about the safety of the shots( ie the 1 in 6 children with behavioral maladies)

There may have been a slight reason to be somewhat concerned a decade ago, but since then several very large and well-designed studies show that these behavioral maladies are not associated with vaccines. The persisting "concerns" that they are are a product mainly of antivaccination activists and trial lawyers. Indeed, Andrew Wakefield recruited some of his subjects from a trial lawyer's clients who wanted to sue vaccine manufacturers, and I've described the major conflicts of interests with Mark and David Geier and their anti-thimerosal "research" almost ad nauseum.

In any case, I'm getting tired of your nigh incoherent rants.

incoherent rants?
was i using words too big for you too understand?
stop changing the subject!!!
whose evidence?
you people are like religious nuts.
your religion is a false god. ebm.
you got docs calling anyone who questions them idiots.
well that makes them facist.
you say you are a libertarian... well i say male bovine excrement.
you docs need serious intervention. ie a psycho-doc
ebm is your god. explain the mistakes.
I'll bet you call me more names and still don't answer the question. If all your ebm is so perfect how do you explain all the bad meds.
about the kids. if shots are perfectly ok then why are some kids allergic? Are you saying all shots are good for all kids.
Just for the record, I have four children and all have had their shots and only the one who was almost killed by obdoc has any issues.
You... doc-o-rac are an idiot to take the stand you take.
You... don't have evidence the shots are perfectly safe.
You... argue what you can't prove and call the people who argue with you(with something they can't prove) idiots which makes you an idiot.
you tire of me because i am correct.

family doc
stop playing the race card.
answer your patients' questions
this is America and as much as you would like to silence those with opposing views you grow more tyranical each day.
Embrace the nation that is America
Open your eyes guys.
You are so angry at the people who need your help.
You are acting like docs not doctors.
Love phil

You... argue what you can't prove and call the people who argue with you(with something they can't prove) idiots which makes you an idiot.

Actually, although sorely tempted, I never called you an idiot, just incoherent, an assessment you've supported far better than even I could have with your most recent even more incohrent rant.

you tire of me because i am correct.

No, I tire of you because you're boring, don't know what you're talking about, and contribute nothing to the debate other than ad hominems and poorly informed talking points. You're trolling, and it's time for me as of now to stop feeding the troll.

Is this your final answer.
Your answer doc is and has also been an answer to a question never asked.
When you can't handle the question attack the patient!!!
Did you learn that in doc school?
You docs are like broken records.
Your patients ask about safety of shots and you scream EBM.
I ask about problems with EBM and you would think I am blaspheming your god.
All you do on this site is pick out a piece of the statement that you can find fault in and go off on a tangent.
Look up tangent and you will know what you docs are.
It is the center of the circle you should be aiming for.
Well as we use to say on the playground
Take your ball and go home baby!!!
Love Phil

Don't feed it - save yourselves ..........................

By jyisndoos (not verified) on 05 Sep 2006 #permalink


Your prose is very difficult to understand. Perhaps this is associated with why you are so gravely misunderstanding what Orac is saying. Is English your second language, perhaps?

The question isn't whether or not this young man should have the right to choose his own medical treatment, or lack thereof. It's whether it's appropriate for the state to remove all ability to take over the care of children when their parents are incompetent or have been duped by charlatans. In this case, I am sympathetic to the kid, although I suspect he's been duped. I'm not sure it's right to force parents to get treatment for a child who is old enough to consent to sex who expresses great dislike for the treatment. Perhaps as there is an age of consent for sex, there should be an age of consent for medical procedures.

But there are charlatans out there. I know some alternative therapies have benefits. I also know there are some very effective frauds out there; they know how to play to people's emotions and get them to believe what they want. They should not be allowed to prey on children and parents by offering hope that they know is false. Just because someone claims they can cure you doesn't mean they can.

You deride "evidence based medicine". I doubt you'd seriously prefer medicine where the evidence is against it, so I can only assume you use the phrase as an imprecation, without really thinking about what it means. Perhaps you use it to mean "medicine supported by the evil pharamceutical conspiracy"? If so, this is not the proper use of the phrase. It means medicine where there's actually a reason to believe it might work. You'll have to excuse me if I am not brave enough to try medicine purely on somebody's say-so. I want evidence. I do not understand why this would be a bad thing.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 06 Sep 2006 #permalink

You docs have called the alties names (yes or no)?
I have called you docs names.
I don't believe for a second any of you are nazis or facist.
But my point is still very very simple,
almost as simple as the dropout language i have been using to deride you docs.
You Stake your integrity upon others' research like religious nuts.
I believe in immnizations. The evidence of a link or lack of a link is not complete in my weak little mind. (ie jury still out) You docs are entrenched.
One last request...
please think this through before you answer.
Are there people who have allergic reaction to shots.
Does the population in the statistical analysis account for the entire population.
Now put the answers to the questions together.
If the answer to the second completely nullifies the first then stick to your reasoning.
If there is a doubt in your mind then stop hammering the people who care so deeply for their child that they question your assesment.
Or just pick out something I said here and go off on a tangent.

jysindoos, please just a crumb or two?
Calli, You are so right-on. You scare me.
Well since you are done with me i guess i'll finish up.
I have read a little of the oppositions' rants on autism.
I have a tiny bit of info on the shots debate, which is dead according to you docs.
Does it not serve you docs well to have the shots cleared on all charges.
Wouldn't it be the most terrible case of malpractice if the shots are finally implicated, The millions of kids,
with their lives destroyed by their doctor.
I have no proof and neither do you docs.
What you have is statistical probability that you are clear.
For any of you ped docs who can do a little research, love children, and refuse to fall on your scapel for ebm try this one out.
Three populations of children exist with nearly no autism.
Two groups don't immunize and one delays the immunizations.
The one group that delays is in California with over 30000
Then again maybe I've been duped by the evil antis and alties. Like i said before, I looked at the evidence and chose the immunizations for my own. 1 in 166 seemed a heck of alot better than whooping cough.
I absolutely believe that was my decision to make and you docs have too much to gain from forcing anyone to comply.
Once again I will say what makes so many of you cringe.
A bad doc nearly killed my son and another doc helped cover it up and all the rest of you good docs didn't lift a finger to help me get where we are today. So if i have almost no faith in your ebm and find every one of you docs suspect........
Alternatives to established medicine.......definitely need to be looked into.
In my book only idiots blindly place their trust in you docs...
After all don't alot of your mistakes get buried?
Go ahead and say it, feed me, I would love to hear you tell me just how big of a @#$%^&% #@%%^%^ &^%$ I am.
Thank you all for letting me crash your party again.
I promise I won't do it again except in the case of Orac saying he's a libertarian. I'll just read and try to learn from you docs.
Thanks, and sorry if i ruffled to many feathers,
and please don't think i'm calling anyone a bird here it's just an expression.
Love phil

I love it!

No doubt you had this kid dead and buried for not wanting to take the chemo poison that his allopathic 'doctor' wanted to force upon him.. Oh sure, the Hoxsey is just snake oil, isn't it? The natural medicines are all based on voodoo flummery ad bunk science that *never* takes into account any understanding of environmental agents and the biological responses to them that are the end result of evolution of the human immune system.

Oh, it's all got NO no chance of working at all, right?

Besides, who needs evolution and nature-based chemicals that have componet structures that work in the body - we have man-made *patented* (for NO small profit) SYNTHETICS!!! SO much better for our human *evolved* bodies.. never mind the toxic reactio... errr... 'side effects'. We can give you MORE patented drugs to cover that... and our stakeholding overlords' retirements..


..crow is a pretty tasty dish when you learn to eat it.


Oh, and by the way, DO avail yourself of the information within this link as well. Pay particular attention to the backstory involving the young man involved... Familiar huh?

If you don't yet have terminal dyspepsia (use a tsp. of balsamic vinegar to smack it down, by the way..), here's a little more crow (tartare) for your dining pleasure, striaght from the New england Journal of Medicine (is this not enough of a peer reviewed a source for you?), last March..

This is what happens when one lets an insurance bottom-line driven system of financial renumeration take over ones collective practices and tell YOU, as a trained allopath, how to administer 'care' to your patients.

Ironic that they've got you ALL to nearly natural even odds here.. a 50/50 chance of error, but hey, your malpractice insurers give you a big discount for following *their* profit maximizing protocols, don't they?

Bon Appetit!


By foodandart (not verified) on 16 Sep 2006 #permalink

Point one, we have only his doctor's word for this. No objective evidence is presented. If Abraham weren't doing well, do you think we would have heard about it from his doctor? Probably not.

Point two, I was saddened by the fact that Abraham is going to die because of his choice of quackery, not happy.

Point three, I'm not surprised that his tumor is shrinking--right now. Based on news reports and other sources, I'm pretty sure that Abraham is receiving radiation therapy in addition to whatever altie concoction he's getting. This article reinforces that suspicion. Dr. Smith is a radiation oncologist, after all, who is known for combining radiation with various altie treatments. (Notice that the article explicitly states that Abraham is not getting chemotherapy but pointedly doesn't mention radiation.) Most likely, the radiation is being used to shrink the tumor in his neck to prevent it from obstructing his windpipe; if true, this actually makes me happy. However, assuming he has more extensive disease than that, shrinking one of many tumors (notice they said "tumor" not "tumors") will provide excellent palliation but not cure.

Point four, the article you cite has nothing to do with this case and is irrelevant to whether the treatment Abraham is getting is the correct one.

God Complex much?

You have NO proof whatsoever that this young man will expire anytime soon from his disease, or that it will be from anything related to the course of treatment that he is taking. You only *assume* he will die. He very well may not, and in doing so, become a point of contention to the veracity of your 'opinion'.

I notice that you did NOT address the issue with the other young man, Billy Best, who also was probably 'sentenced' to die by doctors for choosing to take a natural therapy instead of toxic chemotherapy.

How irritating it must be for you that he didn't and is now a hale and hearty adult.

My second point only serves to underscore the THIRD, as given in the New England Journal of Medicine report that your 'industry' is held in thrall to the moneyed interests of the insurers and big pharma. Health is less a concern than profit margins. Allopaths collectively know LESS of health and maintaining it correctly than is comfortable to admit. The numbers outlined in the NEJM report bear proof of that.

Ergo, you're full of 'it' sir, as most allopaths are.

Good day.


By foodandart (not verified) on 17 Sep 2006 #permalink

Wonderful, now homeopaths have joined the fray. Just what we needed.


It's not particularly meaningful to say that parents have the right and obligations to make decisions if they're not allowed to make any decisions that go against what 'society', meaning some group of doctors, thinks they should decide.

If doctors can override decisions that easily, then the parents' decisionmaking is just a cipher, and the doctors are actually the ones making the decisions.

I'm sure lots of doctors think this is a good idea, but I see no reason for anyone to conclude that such authority can be responsibly usurped.

By Caledonian (not verified) on 10 May 2007 #permalink

Wonderful, now homeopaths have joined the fray. Just what we needed.


It's not particularly meaningful to say that parents have the right and obligations to make decisions if they're not allowed to make any decisions that go against what 'society', meaning some group of doctors, thinks they should decide.

If doctors can override decisions that easily, then the parents' decisionmaking is just a cipher, and the doctors are actually the ones making the decisions.

I'm sure lots of doctors think this is a good idea, but I see no reason for anyone to conclude that such authority can be responsibly usurped.

By Caledonian (not verified) on 10 May 2007 #permalink